Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dame Ann Leslie at the Reform Club

I have been really busy at work lately and today, I was almost collapsing when I left work, but there was no way I would have missed Dame Ann Leslie's invitation to the celebration party of the publication of her new book, Killing My Own Snakes, at the Reform Club in London's Pall Mall.

Ann Leslie, is the first Western journalist, I know of, who wrote about the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners. Unlike some journalists and think tank academics who are sucked in by the false official pleasantries when they go to Iran, Ann Leslie, being a journalist of stubborn and steely substance, gave her official Islamic Republic chaperons the slip and actually went to the Khavaran cemetery, one of the mass graves of thousands of Iranian political prisoners who were hurriedly buried there during the terrible months of August/September 1988. I don't know any other Western journalists who have managed to visit the Khavaran cemetery.

There is so much more I can write about the impressive qualities of Dame Ann Leslie, but may be in the future, after I have read her book.

It was actually quite overwhelming to see so many media celebrities all in one room. Meeting Richard Littlejohn was a pleasant surprise. Whenever I read his column or watch him on TV, I always say to myself, that man is saying exactly what I think. I remember watching with much delight how he demolished the snotty Polly Toynbee on Question Time by standing up for the common man against the out of touch intellectuals who want the best for themselves but not for the rest.











And some times, you meet someone and immediately you feel their heart of gold, you notice care and kindness just radiate from them. That person tonight was the news presenter, Mishal Husain. So easy to talk to and so down to earth. It was a real honour to have talked to her tonight.


36 comments:

Banafsheh said...

Dame Ann ROCKS! I love this lady

Anonymous said...

So you're a fan of the far right, homophobic British nationalist Richard Littlejohn? So reactionary bigotry is fine as long as it comes from right-wing Britons rather than Islamist Iranians?

I know you're not a socialist, but I always thought you were a decent democratic liberal. Apparently I was mistaken.

Sacha Ismail

Azarmehr said...

As Richard Littlejohn himself rightly said, "its not enough for the Left to disagree with someone, they have to make him a monster"

This seems typical of the Left all over the world, throw mud at someone, call him a reactionary homophobic, but have no evidence for your accusations, just keep throwing mud, hoping it will stick.

Anonymous said...

I think even a cursory investigation of Richard Littlejohn's public pronouncements confirm his definite homophobia and racism. Perhaps it's all a big show in order to keep his reader numbers up in the Mail, perhaps it's all a big career move to appeal to white flighters and the BNP demographic, but you CAN NOT doubt that what he says and writes is bigotry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Littlejohn#The_Michael_Winner_incident

Hanif Leylabi said...

In the past year's Sun columns, Richard has referred 42 times to gays, 16 times to lesbians, 15 to homosexuals, eight to bisexuals, twice to 'homophobia' and six to being 'homophobic' (note his scornful inverted commas), five times to cottaging, four to 'gay sex in public toilets', three to poofs, twice to lesbianism, and once each to buggery, dykery, and poovery. This amounts to 104 references in 90-odd columns — an impressive increase on his 2003 total of 82 mentions.



Littlejohn contacted a “tyke friend of mine” who “reliably informed me there are no homosexuals in South Yorkshire. [The friend said,] 'Not live ones, anyway. We send them all down to London.'”

That’s it. That’s the punch-line. No live gays in Yorkshire… they are all, it is implied, killed or driven out. Would any non-homophobe think this was funny?

Again, this is part of a long pattern. Littlejohn constantly compares gay people to followers of the most extreme and bizarre fetishes. In his unreadable book ‘You Couldn’t Make It Up’, he attacks one man who came out so he could openly live with his male partner by demanding, “'Why? If he had a predilection for wearing a nappy made out of Bacofoil or retiring for the evening with a satsuma in his mouth and a bin liner over his head would he have felt obliged to share that with us too?”

Dick incessantly attacks such people as “proselytising homosexuals and lesbians”, and elsewhere refers to them “recruiting outside schoolgates”, clearly playing to the demonstrably false and homophobic link between homosexuality and paedophilia.

Littlejohn’s favourite tactic is to imply that anybody who wants equality for gay people is somehow mentally disordered and “obsessed” with homosexuality, rather than simply trying to make sexuality legally and socially irrelevant.

For example, Dick has accused Tony Blair of being “obsessed with poovery”, says “the C of E is drowning in a sea of poovery”, and contrived to get the word “poofs” into a lengthy attack on yours truly (perhaps the proudest day of my life).

Littlejohn’s comments about Blair and the CofE are a fascinating example of psychological projection, because if anybody is “obsessed with poovery” or “drowning in a sea of poovery”, it is Littlejohn himself.

On 19 December 2006, in the aftermath of the Ipswich murders of five women, Littlejohn wrote a column in which he described the victims as "disgusting, drug-addled street whores" and their deaths as "no great loss". He added that for prostitutes, being murdered is "an occupational hazard" stemming from their own "free choice". He described the feminist debate about how to rescue women from the murderer as "hilarious."


ut when another genocide was being perpetrated – this time by black Hutus against black Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 – he wrote, "Does anyone really give a monkey's about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them."

Azarmehr said...

And in the same page you can see that Richard Littlejohn was pro gay marriage and backed Trevor Phillips for the Mayor of London.

Many people think that children should be entitled to have a father. Those who have experience of Child Support Agency will know all about how the PC crazed state tries to deny fathers from seeing their children. Research shows the majority of gang members are children who lack the love and discipline of a father figure, and somehow the Left wants to make monsters out of people who think children need fathers.

Yet those who follow Lenin, somehow think of themselves as progressive! Lenin after all did order the execution of the Tsar's children, including one who was a haemophiliac, amongst many other murders. Who is the monster and who is the bigot??

Azarmehr said...

Hanif,

Sometimes we may not like the truth but it should not mean that we deny the truth. The sad truth is that most people, and I mean your favourite working class masses, which includes Littlejohn, born in Ilford in a working class family, probably don't care if two tribes in Africa decide to murder each other or may be put better they do not feel they are in any way responsible for it.

The government of Rwanda to my knowledge have never asked to bring Littlejohn to justice over his comments but they have asked to bring to justice 33 members of the French government for their involvement in the 1994 genocide.
These include the late SOCIALIST French president Francois Mitterrand and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin.

"French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis," according to the Rwandan report, which was compiled by a government appointed team of investigators from the justice ministry.

Yet you find pages and pages on the internet about the Left raving and raging about Littlejohn's comment but not so much about a Socialist French government actually assisting in the genocide, which one is worse, assisting in the genocide or what Littlejohn said??

I have never actually seen the article by Littlejohn where he is alleged to have said that and don't know the context, send me the original link if you can, all I have seen is that quote by a variety of Leftists, even so if Littlejohn did say that, for me actually taking part and assisting in the genocide, is a million billion times worse, than saying something like that.

Shiro_Khorshid said...

http://blog.macleans.ca/category/blog-central/international/the-world-desk/

Anonymous said...

Wow... do you vote Tory, Potkin?

Sacha

Anonymous said...

This superb article by Johann Hari demolishes Littlejohn - and you.

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=631

Azarmehr said...

I vote for the person at the time who I think best represents my concerns and I feel is competent enough to do the job. I don't have ideological barriers and frameworks and I am not bound by 'isms'.

If there was a Workers Liberty candidate in my area and I thought he or she would fulfill the above two criteria, I may even vote for them. Although I doubt it, especially for the second reason. I do recall how once you were supposed to collect a petition for us and how you lost it!!!
Or how you were trying to decide the slogans on the Alquds demo on the day with a megaphone which you would not pass too us.

Azarmehr said...

Re article by Johann Hari:

This is typical of Communists. I ask for the original source and they send something which someone quoted about someone. It is these kind of relying on only trusted sources and not the original which leads to people like Hanif Leylabi writing his ridiculous post where he claims Shakespeare and Mulier were bannd before the revolution and Ayatollah Taleghani's eyelids were removed so he was forced to watch his daughter be raped. :)))

Most of you Communists and the way you come to your favourable conclusions crack me up!!

Hanif Leylabi said...

We obviously have a very different definition of socialists.

1) Just because you don't think that there should be a sexual apartheid doesn't mean that you are not therefore homophobic. His comments are numerous, they are offensive and they are in fitting with this other rabid views.

2) The majority of rape and domestic violence comes from a male family member so I really don't buy your crap about the lack of a fatherly figure. And maybe you agree with the Mullahs when they say men and women are naturally different with different roles? I wonder if poverty, racism and social deprivation have an affect on youth violence? I wonder if the studies took into account the fact that single mother families are far more numerous than single fathered ones. Maybe its the love and support kids need, wherever it comes from...

Anonymous said...

meeting her is always one of my dreams.

Anonymous said...

meeting her is one of my dreams.

mahsa said...

meeting her is one of my dreams

Anonymous said...

Looks like he's not a Tory after all...

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/photo-report-on-al-quds-day-demonstration/

After standing among March for England as they scuffled with the police in an attempt to attack the Al Quds marchers, right-wing Iranian dissident Potkin Azarmehr, recently quoted approvingly on the Principia Dialectica website and lauded by their members on the demonstration as a “democrat”, embraces an English fascist.

Azarmehr said...

:))))))) I didn't see any Nazi flags there today but what are these Nazis doing displaying the Islamic Republic flag:
http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2006/06/german-neo-nazis-under-islamic.html

And lets not forget all the fruit cakes that came to Holocaust denial conference :)))

Azarmehr said...

I also left this post on thecommune? site. Here is a refined version because I was so angry at these lying scumbags:

How much can you lie in one post you anonymous scum bag?
I did my best to do a fine balancing act so there would be no confrontation between those at the extremes of the counter demo? I can’t stop others from coming to the counter demo. I made it clear to the police that we can not have any racism or Nazi salutes. I also disapproved of the few who waved the Israeli flag, saying the waving of the Israeli flag by the three of you will give the impression that we are Israeli lackeys and in fact next year we will bring a Palestinian flag to make sure that everyone realises we want Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace.

I also made sure we were all occupied our own distinct sections, so as each group’s agenda was clear. Oh and hardly any of the Iranians there in our section were monarchists by the way. The Alliance of Students are followers of Dr. Mossadeq and CIS is also not a monarchist group.

If you have rivalries with PD or don’t know enough about Iranian politics that you think the Sun and Lion flag represent monarchy then thats your problem you pile of shit.

Can you Communists not just disagree with someone without lying about them??

David Broder said...

After the Al-Quds demo went past I rushed over to take pictures of March for England scuffling with the police. I did not get any very good ones, but you walked straight past embracing one of them.

Richard Littlejohn has politics similar to those of the BNP but seeks to channel right-wing, anti-immigrant and homophobic attitudes into support for the Tory party.

The BNP even has a section on its website called "the Richard Littlejohn syndrome", attacking him for being anti-BNP when in fact his politics should mean supporting them...

Azarmehr said...

David Broder,

You are a liar and a scum bag coward. The guy you photographed me with turned me away from the police and told me to calm down after I had seen them hit Arash's head on the ground.

Now I am even more of a Richard Littlejohn fan, for I now know how your kind lie through your teeth for your own political gains.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to have my two cents worth reading the comments by David Broder and Azarmehr's replies.

Azarmehr is accused of being a Nazi, he is in fact an Iranian immigrant, because he finds Littlejohn's straight talking appealing. The BNP you claim likes Littlejohn, so Azarmehr is a Nazi!

What kind of logic is that. Its like saying, Stalin liked Tolstoy, Joe Blogs, also likes Tolstoy, so Joe Blogs is a Stalinist!

Get some sense Broder.

David Broder said...

Please show me where I called Potkin Azarmehr a Nazi.

I didn't do anything of the sort.

On the matter of Tolstoy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Littlejohn#The_Will_Self_incident

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, don't act all innocent. On your commune website which you ae trying to use this site to advertise it, you are implying all over the place that Azarmehr is embracing the Fascists etc. And as for your Will Self link, I can't even be bothered to read it. You are a very silly little boy.

Mahsa said...

I just left this comment on David Border's website:

Mahsa (14:47:41) :

White face Josfen wants to decide for us brown skin immigrants what is racist and what is not!

If someone thinks shouting ‘terrorist bombers off our streets’ is a racist remark and a reference to brown skins then HE HIMSELF is stereotyping brown skins as terrorists by assuming terrorists are brown skinned.

[eds: last line removed]

As you can see the last line of my comment was removed, because I accused the website of being racist and censoring comments made by brown skinned people.

David Border likes to accuse others but can't accept that he himslef is intrinsically a racist when he decides to censor comments made by brown skinned people.

David Broder said...

I am not a racist. Removing a comment calling the commune's website "racist" is not "racist".

Anonymous said...

You come on this website and call people fascits and racists and your comments are not deleted, but when a brown skinned person calls you a racist for very good reaosns, then you delete their comments. Why don't you let people read comments made by brown skinned people and let the people decide for themselves. Why are you scared of free speech?

Hanif Leylabi said...

Potkin - You remind me of Regimeis who ask me for evidence of the crimes against humanity of the IR.

'Give me real proof, not just western media links. The people support their government. This is all lies, it was worse during the Shah, look how many have died in Iraq etc...'

Azarmehr said...

Hanif the bourgeoise,

Nothing wrong with that. If teh regimies ask me for evidence of the Regime's crimes, I would have no problem what so ever, you seem to have difficulties however. Just like Broder has difficulties proving MfE shouted 'White Pride'

Stop pretending you are anti-Islamic Republic, you have never done anything against the Islamic Republic, you are a bourgeoise kid who is embarassed by his wealth and wants to pretend to be some proletariat icon during his uni years.

Hanif Leylabi said...

I don't pretend to be an icon of any sort although if that's how you see me then I am touched.

I am certainly not bourgeois (not sure you really understand these terms accurately) and am not embarrassed by the opportunities I have had.

1) I believe that the Iranian working class and their allies are the only people who make successful democratic change in Iran.

2) I believe that they have fought and died to create the limited space they have to operate in Iran.

3) I believe that a war would close this space down and set the cause of democracy back by decades.

4) I believe that the threat of war enables the hardliners to make the life of ordinary Iranians worse.

5) I believe that rhetoric against the regime in the west serves only the imperialists.

6) I don't believe that blogs, anti mullah demos etc in the UK do anything to hurt the regime or to help the Iranian democracy movements.

7) Therefore I think antiwar activity is the practical solidarity we can give, not giving legitimacy to the propaganda machine of the war mongers.

8) If I am talking to an Iranian who supports the regime or non Iranian Shias who have rose tinted view of the regime, I argue that the Islamic Republic is a undemocratic, reactionary, petit bourgeois regime with an appalling human rights record and the left in Iran must always organise with the principle of independent working class politics.

You may disagree with me. But you have no right to say I am not against the IR.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree that simply photographing an event when there was the possibility of influencing it is poor form. Unfortunately many on the left behave in that fashion.

However, Jesus, this Azamehr does not like to be questioned...check out his tone on The Commune blog. If you're keeping a political blog and organising political demos, you gotta expect to be challenged, even if they are from genetically inferior left wingers or however you see them. (Incidentally, even if what you say about lefties is right, it's hardly the point...there are some issues they're raising which you could actually respond to instead of launching ad hom attacks.)

Also, if you honestly don't believe Littlejohn is bigoted, then you're either completely ignorant on the subject - and therefore probably shouldn't be publicising your schmoozing with him before you research him a little - or a bigot yourself. Seriously. Now go on, fly off the handle again, you're really convincing.

Azarmehr said...

anon,

First of all why are you Anonymous?

Secondly, how much time do you think I have to argue with people like Hanif and this David Broder?
Why should I waste my time when the emphasis of their debates for example is stats and figures form the Soviet Union? See hanif's comments about how rate of literacy was improved in the Soviet Union.

Lets say Littlejohn is a bigot, but is he a criminal? So you disagree with him, he hasn't killed anyone. Lenin however did kill many including ordering teh execution of children. Now tell me why a supporter of Lenin is a 'progressive' and if I get on with Littlejohn, I am a monster. where is the logic in that?

Surely I can decide who I get on with and who I don't.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon cos I don't have a Blogger ID or whatever it is I need to have a name.

And to be honest, if you're reduced to positively comparing Littlejohn with Lenin then I don't really see much point in getting me one.

Like I say, either you're COMPLETELY ignorant about the British media and British politics and the relationship between the two or you're a bigot. If it's the former, you probably shouldn't be schmoozing with media personalities and then publicising it.

Incidentally, perhaps you can explain how Littlejohn could be a "common man" to anyone...his public persona - which I suspect is an insincere ploy to sell newspapers, a la Michael Moore - is a crude caricature thereof, far to the right of all the "common men" I know. Mind you, I haven't sipped champagne with this salt of the earth type in some toff-nosed exclusive media party surrounded by aristocrats so I guess I wouldn't know right?

Also before I go there's some very inaccurate and dangerous assumptions made in this debate, such as one poster claiming that a white person could never identify racism while a non-white person will always identify it correctly. That needs to rebuked, as does the claim that an Iranian immigrant couldn't have far right opinions cos he's...not white (?). I hope you realise, Azamehr, the manner in which these kinda misconceptions are used by despots outside of what is awkwardly called the West in order to justify their own agendas (Mugabe, Ahmadinejad etc).

Azarmehr said...

Is Mishal Hussain right wing? what about the editor of Al-Quds Abdel Bari Atwan, or Ian Hislop, cause they were all there!

All I know is that I don't get on with most of you UK Left wingers. Not many of you come across to me as anything like working class nor understand the working class issues. We have tried to embrace you but we have got ZERO.

Why is it that at the end of teh day the "right wing" Melanie Phillips comes to our help and not the likes of snobby Polly Toynbee or that Yasmine bollocks etc.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/2057026/whose-side-are-we-on.thtml

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything of the characters you list other than Ian Hislop, who's made a career out of bourgeois politics (or the satire thereof) and therefore would seem to me to be pretty hostile to any sort of radical social change for that reason. He also would fall pretty low on your whole working class fetish thing. (Oh and incidentally Littlejohn went to a grammar school...BURN HIM!!!!!!!111)

And everyone knows that Marxist consider the working class to be anyone who's in a position where they have to sell their labour in order to survive. Reworked definitions of that include the unemployed, housewives and even students (*gasp* not THOSE middle class fucks, they have NO RIGHT to be in political activity right?). The British have a bizarre conception of class which comes from its residue of the aristocratic near-castist feudal system which still maintains itself in one form or another.

Frankly I reckon the Marxist understanding of class is much more relevant and insightful than the confused mainstream British idea of class which is now used by the powers that be to confuse the debate.

About "The Left" though, you're pretty much right. i certainly don't allign myself with anyone who defends Lenin, Fidel, Mao etc and I consider those who do to be on the far left of the status quo. I also find Toynbee utterly nauseating, so much so that Littlejohn was able to demolish her on Question Time.

Anyway this is pointless cos you have prejudices against socialism anyway...just do some research into Littlejohn and March for England and you'll realise why you shouldn't associate with them.

Azarmehr said...

So who do you align yourself with?

p.s. even though you do not have a blogger profile, you can either say who you are in your comment or enter the name field when you submit your comment. Tell me if you want more detailed instructions, but it helps me to see who posted what and to whom I am replying.